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June 30, 1999
a year ago

Doing

I still remember.

Remember what it felt like. The bike ride reminded me somewhat. The feeling. The feeling of the breath flowing smoothly through; the muscles working, stretching, pushing, sweating, and burning with the blood flow through; and the feeling of gathering myself for a rush, a push, and the little triumph of Getting There.

It wasn't a hard ride. It was darned simple, felt too short because I hadn't really used much of my resources or reserves. The muscles were mildly sore that night and the next day. The easy lassitude of spent energy. I have to do this more often. I have to get that mood and that feeling back.

I read Danskin's web site about the women's triathlons that they're sponsoring across the country. Then I made the mistake of looking at the training schedule, the first two weeks to be specific. One day running, one day riding, one day swimming for only 15-30 minutes. This I could do. This isn't that hard. This could be possible. Uht oh...

Yeah.

I'm getting sucked in.

What made it even more intriguing is that between the two Jennies and I, all three of us are not happy with at least one of the three things: running, swimming, and biking and each of us are very happy with one and tolerant of the third. It's working out so that each sport has one of each type in it, so we'll do pretty well supporting each other. This should be cool.

The hard and interesting part will be getting my knee brace out and actually running with it. I've been doing, nearly exclusively, biking for the last year and a half for exercise. Swimming is non-impact on the knee, too, so I'm not nearly as worried about it as I am about the running. I don't drown easily, even if I don't go very fast.

Work was pretty cool. Got stuff done, got a usability test plan put together, and then signed up to write the tests themselves, with help from the one that has real experience and training. Had a prickly problem, though with the marketing representative who wasn't doing any of the things that I assigned and still doesn't quite get the difference between user data and judgement calls. I have some teaching to do it seems.

Lots of other things to do as well.

Home was good, the rain came and showered everything and it was all cool again. That was very nice. Dinner was quick, I wasn't in the mood to cook much, so we just reheated some of the tons of leftovers and just ate that, which was quick, yummy and satisfying. John played Spyro again and so I went upstairs again and dictated more.

I'd spent some time in the afternoon talking with folks on-line and got the unexpected compliment of being likened to Miles Vorkosigan, when, all along, I was saying that it really is John who believes there's always *some* way. But I still remember driving Mark insane by always jumping in and trying to solve whatever problem he came up with as soon as he'd described it at all. It drove him nuts, that I would instantly come up with half a dozen possibilities, none of them 'for sure' and all of them dependent on taking first steps to figure that out rather than just being a sure thing. so I tried to hold back on it some, though I remember Miles never really did.

I mean...

I guess that life is about possibilities, that if there's anything one wants enough, it'll always be possible to go do it, get it, or create it.

A few folks say that the only reason I have that attitude is because I'm somehow magically gifted, that I have more capability than they do, or something like that. But I'm only human. I was watching the XGames the other night and kinda wonderingly said to John, "Hey, I'm not all that much different from those girls doing sky surfing. I have the same kinds of limbs and the same kinds of muscles and all that..." The only real difference is that of desire. They want to be doing that, so they're doing that. I don't really want to be doing that, but I want other things.

Sure. I'll make mistakes. I'll have failures, but as long as I believe and work as if I believe that I'll get somewhere I will. To see the coolness and goodness in what I can do and keep working at it to get it to where I want it, then it'll work. Sure there are some physical barriers and some bits of reality that I have to work with; but those limits are pretty out there. Like I can't lift a 200 pound beam by myself, but with patience, lots of wood board, a few jacks and some thought, John and I got a 200 pound beam nearly 30 feet into the air. There really is nearly always *some* way, and people can be really good at figuring those ways out.

But there's something about Miles that I see sparks of in nearly everyone that I find interesting. Something about not giving up, not listening to 'everyone else', and walking the path that was less taken. Just 'cause someone else hasn't done it doesn't mean it can't be done. John just embodies it in full-blown glory, for me.

I also realized that the triathlon was scaring me a little because I've 'never done that before'; but what a silly thing to be scared of! I mean, every day, here I'm doing something I haven't done before, from things as trivial as living a day longer than I've ever done before to eating at a place I never knew existed before to trying something like the triathlon on for size as an idea or writing something I've never written before. There's all new. It's not like every person in the world doesn't face something that's completely new to their lives with some frequency. Every skill I have is something I first picked up when it was entirely new to me. To avoid an activity simply because it is new to me is silly. Especially when thousands of others have done it already.

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